There are so many issues with this - If the "rules" for compensation for companies taking government money had been written better in the beginning they wouldn't be addressing this to begin with. But as with many government initiatives they write in the most ambiguous language possible then make it fit later. I am not for a moment saying that some executives weren't making the most of their situations and taking compensation beyond what their bottom line dictated but is that their fault or the fault of those that put them in those positions?

I've seen several salary numbers that make me wonder what they do for that type of money, but exactly when did it become the governments job to determine what fair compensation is for running companies worth billions of dollars?

It's no wonder so many companies who initially thought the TARP money was a good thing are trying desperately, but not successfully, to give it back.

It seems our executive branch of government is reaching way beyond their power here.


From the Wall Street Journal WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration plans to appoint a "Special Master for Compensation" to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines, according to people familiar with the matter.

The administration is expected to name Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the federal government's compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to act as a pay czar for the Treasury Department, these people said.

Mr. Feinberg's appointment could be announced as early as next week (the week of June 8th), when the administration is expected to release executive-compensation guidelines for firms receiving aid from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Those companies, which include banks, insurers and auto makers, are subject to a host of compensation restrictions imposed by the Bush and Obama administrations and by Congress.


Wall Street has been anxiously awaiting more details on how the rules will be applied. "The law is confusing and a bit ambiguous, ... continue reading this

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Tags: czar, government, pay, tarp

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Comment by David Ruggles on June 19, 2009 at 6:20am
Man am I with you about the GM old boy network and keeping the CEO off the Board! There are those who would call any measure to control executive compensation "socialist." I can hear the bleating now about how such and such a company can't attract talent because companies in other countries can compensate better.

You're also correct about Roger, although I think he thought he was doing something good for the future of the company based on surveys and study groups. He was wrong... he got paid, the rest of us pay.

I find "socialist" to be such a nebulous and relative word I tend not to use it. Our gov't has had "socialist" elements for a long time, SS for an example. Ike was supposed to be a free market Republican and we had 90% tax rates under him. The Republicans have bitter memories of the twenty years of Dem White House control after Hoover's disastrous term.
Comment by David Ruggles on June 18, 2009 at 7:15pm
The abuses we've heard about would turn a free marketer into a socialist in a heartbeat. On Wall Street, the amount of money paid wasn't the problem, but the short term nature of what to be done for the money and the total absence of any risk penalty. I'm sure the administration would prefer to stay out of exec compensation, but in an era of gov't bailouts to firms that could take down the entire economy, they have to do something.
Comment by A Jay Gould on June 10, 2009 at 10:27am
All my life I was on a performance based payplan,in good times I did well and in bad times not so good. These CEO's are just flat out greedy and the choices some boards make in appointing these guys show a lack of common sense . Paying millions to lose billions just doesn't make any sense to me personally.

While I'm not for government control of compensation its quite clear somthing needs to be done. The common stockholder simply doesn't have the clout anymore and the major shareholders are out for the quick profit and have zero loyalty to the companies they control.

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